In the market at Chinese New Year

It's New Year's Eve, and all the preparations and tidying are in full swing. The street markets are busy selling flowers, and the red decorations to bring good fortune.

The veggie stalls are also busy, and you may have seen longer than normal Chinese cabbages for sale. MrsB tells me that if you follow the traditional approach, you shouldn't buy food in the first two weeks of the New Year. Hence the big cabbages, which last well. (And you thought you got sick of turkey after Christmas!)

Some stalls sell bundles of waxy green leaves. Those aren't for cooking, but for washing yourself with this evening.

There are also stalls selling brightly coloured rice-flour balls. They are red in colour, and covered in sesame seeds, and look quite appealing. At least I thought so the first year I was here. I bought one, and as I was about to bite it I thought I caught a snigger from a passer-by. I nearly broke my teeth trying to bite it! Older and wiser, I now recognise they can be very tasty - but only after they've been cooked...

Happy holidays,